If you may not have known, March is National Nutrition Month. National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association). National Nutrition Month began as National Nutrition Week in 1973. It became National Nutrition Month in 1980. Each year, the month is given a different theme. For 2012, to go along with the release of MyPlate, the theme for National Nutrition Month is “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
These tips can help you “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. At each meal and snack, make sure that you are getting at least one serving of fruit and/or vegetables. You should be enjoying a variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors.
• Make at least half of your grain choices whole-grains. Read the ingredient list to make sure that the first ingredient is whole grain.
• Switch your milk to fat-free or low fat. By switching your milk, you’ll be getting fewer calories and less fat but the amount of calcium and other essential nutrients remains the same.
• Vary your protein foods. Protein doesn’t just mean meat. There are a variety of foods that contain protein including meat, nuts, beans, seafood, poultry and eggs. Eat a variety of these options. Keep your choices lean and watch the servings. Twice a week, make your protein choice a seafood option.
• Eat less, while still enjoying your food. Watch your portion sizes by measuring out your servings or by using a smaller plate. Keeping a food journal and writing down everything that you eat is another good way to watch your portion sizes.
• Get in shape and stay in shape by being physically active. Find activities that you like and stick with them. Children need 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day. Adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.